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June 20, 2012 | By Jessica Guynn and Michelle Maltais, Los Angeles Times
SAN FRANCISCO - It's every parent's worst nightmare: Three adults pretending to be teenagers contacted kids on the mobile social networking app Skout and sexually assaulted them in three separate incidents, police say. Skout Inc. shut down its forum for 13- to-17-year-olds last week and assigned a team of security specialists to determine whether it can make the app safe for teens. If not, the San Francisco company plans to close that forum for good. The alleged assaults on two girls, ages 12 and 15, and on a 13-year-old boy underscore how tough it can be to keep kids safe on a new generation of mobile apps.
February 1, 2012 | Nathaniel Popper and Jessica Guynn, Los Angeles Times
Facebook has filed papers for what's expected to be the largest initial public offering ever to come out of Silicon Valley and one of the largest in U.S. history. Ending months of breathless speculation, the 8-year-old social networking company has submitted registration documents with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that set a preliminary goal of raising $5 billion. Facebook is expected to be valued at $75 billion to $100 billion. Final pricing will not be set for months, and the size of the IPO probably will increase with investor demand.
May 13, 2011 | By David Sarno, Los Angeles Times
Facebook Inc.'s efforts to portray itself as a trustworthy guardian of the Internet's town square are being undermined — once again — by accusations that the social network launched a covert smear campaign against rival Google Inc. The world's largest online network acknowledged Thursday that it had paid a high-powered public relations firm to push news organizations to report that a new Google feature was putting users' personal data in...
March 7, 2012 | By Jessica Guynn, Los Angeles Times
Israeli President Shimon Peres praised Facebook Inc. as a vehicle for social change during a visit to the social networking company's Menlo Park, Calif., campus. Peres, 88, came to Facebook on Tuesday to launch his official personal page on the site that he hopes will open a dialogue with Arabs throughout the world and to meet with Facebook founder and Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg. "The matter of peace is no longer the business of governments but the business of people," Peres told Facebook's chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg, in an interview streamed live on Facebook.
April 27, 2010 | By Jessica Guynn, Reporting from San Francisco
Lawmakers and privacy watchdogs are asking Facebook Inc. to roll back a new feature that they say invades the privacy of the popular online social network's more than 400 million users. Adding to controversy over the new feature, four U.S. senators objected Tuesday to Facebook sharing users' personal information with other websites without the explicit consent of the users. They want Facebook to ask users to "opt into" the feature that personalizes content on three other websites rather than "opt out" of it. "Social networking sites have become the Wild West of the Internet," Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.
November 4, 2010 | By Jessica Guynn, Los Angeles Times
Facebook denied rumors that it was developing its own phone Wednesday, but it did announce it was rolling out an ambitious bid to extend its popularity on the desktop to mobile phones. The social networking company said a new Deals feature would allow merchants to deliver coupons and specials to Facebook users' phones. One of its first 22 partners is Gap, which is running a campaign that offers a free pair of jeans to the first 10,000 users who check into their local Gap store.
April 10, 2012 | By Jessica Guynn, Los Angeles Times
SAN FRANCISCO - In its biggest acquisition, Facebook is paying $1 billion for the hugely popular Instagram mobile photo-sharing app maker in a move that broadens its business and absorbs a potential rival. The tiny San Francisco startup has just 13 employees and no significant revenue. But its acquisition helps ensure that Facebook - on the verge of staging the most hotly anticipated initial public stock offering in years - will be on the forefront of how people share photos with friends on their smartphones.
July 1, 2012 | By Jessica Guynn, Los Angeles Times
The gig: June was a busy month for David Sacks, chief executive of Yammer, which helps companies create private social networks where employees can chat, share documents and work together on projects. First, Sacks rented the Fleur de Lys mansion in Los Angeles and threw himself a lavish "Let him eat cake" Marie Antoinette-themed costume party for his 40th birthday with hundreds of friends including Snoop Dogg. Then just this past week he sold his 4-year-old San Francisco start-up to Microsoft for $1.2 billion in an all-cash deal.
February 3, 2012 | David Lazarus
Welcome to the post-privacy era. What's most striking about Facebook's initial public offering isn't that it values the 8-year-old company at up to $100 billion, or that this will be the biggest-ever IPO for an Internet firm. What's most striking is that Facebook is serving up to investors the prospect of 845 million users (read: consumers) worldwide being a captive market for businesses looking to sell them stuff. And in a twist that would have been unimaginable before social media took the Net by storm, we've become willing partners in the devaluing of our privacy.
March 26, 2010 | By Jenn Garbee
After unpacking takeout from a nearby diner, Eileen Funke knocks on the glass doors of several group work spaces flanking the communal lounge at the Writers Junction, a membership-based office that opened recently in Santa Monica. "Lunch is here," announces Funke, whose self-appointed duties as co-owner and general manager include orchestrating occasional group lunches. Poet Ashaki Jackson emerges from one of the designated "quiet" rooms, where talking and cellphones are not permitted, and settles into the dining chair next to Funke and Alyss Dixson, a former Paramount Pictures production vice president-turned-novelist.
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